It is a simple fact that if you insist the underpinnings of the United States government are to be found in the Bible, that you are attacking the true underpinnings of the United States government in the United States Constitution. This is for the simple reason that the Bible is nowhere to be found in that secular document.
And that is precisely what Ted Cruz did when he attacked the Supreme Court’s Obergfell ruling in an interview with Janet Mefferd Tuesday, calling it “lawless,” “disastrous” and “fundamentally illegitimate.”
According to Cruz,
“I believe that decision was fundamentally illegitimate, it was lawless, it was unconstitutional and it will not stand,” he said. “And I would note, that is precisely why Dr. James Dobson has endorsed me in this campaign, it is why Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has endorsed me in this campaign, it’s why the National Organization on Marriage [sic] has endorsed me on this campaign and has said it cannot support Donald Trump or Marco Rubio because if we’re not willing to defend marriage, we are giving up the foundational building blocks of the family, we’re giving up the Judeo-Christian values that built this great nation.”
Listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
This is hyperbole and nothing more. Certainly Cruz buys into the old Christian maxim that “There is no crime for those who have Christ” (e.g. Hobby Lobby acquiring stolen artifacts even though the Ten Commandments say stealing is a no-no) and if the volume of Cruz’s lies and distortions are not illegal, they should be.
Fact: The Supreme Court was given its role to settle issues of constitutional law by the Constitution itself. There decisions are therefore lawful and fundamentally legitimate.
We might disagree with them, as Democrats do the Citizens United ruling, but they are undeniably the law of the land.
Somehow, according to Cruz, the Obergfell decision has led to “unprecedented persecution” of Christians in this country, even though he cannot name a single instance. He does list some supposed examples, but as PFAW’s Miranda Blue points out, “almost none…have stemmed from the federal government,” and if that’s not enough, “every single one of the incidents he referenced happened before the ruling and were in no way connected to it.”
There is nothing quite like the fact-free Republican reality bubble, where anything goes and where you don’t have to come anywhere near the dots to connect them.
Cruz’s rhetoric is reminiscent of the Bush-era claim that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, even though we knew he wasn’t, or that he had WMDs, even though we knew he didn’t. Just saying things makes them true for Republicans, from Benghazi to Planned Parenthood.
Christian apologetics is an old industry, and on its best day intellectually unsound, as it assures the reader/listener that they should not panic, that everything they believe is true, and it’s all good. The result is that nearly any belief you can tie to the Bible, no matter how mistaken (e.g. it’s not even in the Bible) is as legitimate as established scientific fact – more so, as we have repeatedly seen.
We therefore find the most vile beliefs and behaviors sanctified by religion, and any resistance to these beliefs and behaviors is seen as a form of persecution. We might as well be beaten to death for refusing to admit water is wet. That is the level of absurdity reached by Ted Cruz both with Janet Mefferd and at his rallies and other interviews.
This is just absurd. Ted Cruz claims to love America. His supporters crow, “At last, a candidate who actually loves America!” But there is no evidence of this love at all. Cruz’s love is for an America that never existed, and was never meant to exist.
His claims of “unprecedented persecution” certainly sound laughable when stood against the actual persecution of Christians in other countries, or in Christian mythology, where believers are “tortured and mutilated” as opposed to just having their feelings hurt, as is the case here.
Or, more pointedly and significantly, when placed against the persecution of others by Cruz’s fellow “Christians” in the form of hate speech and repressive laws aimed at women and religious minorities – even the actual physical bullying of students not found acceptable by evangelicals.
It is not unreasonable to draw the conclusion that for Cruz and his supporters, repression of “the other” is “foundational” behavior – and this is appallingly un-American. And we thought Newt Gingrich was off base when he said it was OK to drop trou for God and country.
Ted Cruz says he is fighting for the Bible and Christianity, but like every other hate-consumed would-be Religious Right champion, he can’t even get Christ right.
And from the other side of the coin, nobody is asking Ted Cruz (to the extent he recognizes Jesus at all) to “deny Christ.” We are merely asking him to not deny the United States Constitution. Cruz isn’t fighting for freedom; like Ralph Reed, he is fighting for the right to oppress.
And if he can’t do that, he is welcome to return to Canada – if they’ll have him.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.